MINSK, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – Minsk authorities have forbidden the Belarusian People’s Front opposition party from holding a protest against a new Russian airbase in the former Soviet country, the party’s leader said Thursday.
Russia plans to open the airbase later this year in the western Belarusian city of Lida, close to the border with Poland and Lithuania. Some Belarusian opposition figures have spoken out against the base, saying it would lead to the loss of state sovereignty.
The opposition party had planned to hold the protest in front of the Russian Embassy next Monday.
“We have been banned from holding the picket on purely formal reasons,” People’s Front leader Alexei Yanukevich told RIA Novosti.
He said the municipal executive committee refused to allow the protest because the application for it did not mention specific measures to ensure order and render medical assistance to protesters.
He added that his party would contest the ban in court. There has been no comment yet from the Minsk authorities.